Today let’s borrow a topic from a dsma chat held last September. The tweet asked “What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”. Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes. Have more than one thing you wish people knew? Go ahead and tell us everything.
I think the hardest thing for the Type 3s in my life to understand is that the mechanical aspects of this disease aren’t what get me down. It’s the lack of control over things that I never thought I’d lose with my diagnosis.
They all seemed to think that adjusting to shots and testing and the ins and outs of highs and lows would be the rough part. I can hear their refrain in my head, and it sometimes makes me want to snap:
“Oh, you’re so brave! I could never give myself shots!”
You get over the whole “needles” thing pretty quickly. No, seriously. The insulin I have to take for the rest of my life has to get into my body somehow, and even as someone who is terrified of needles, I’m mostly over it. It’s pretty easy when you think about what your choices with diabetes are: take the dang shot or die. Bam. Done.
It’s the other ways that diabetes eats away at your former life that are much harder to get used to.
Before my insulin pump, I could just throw on a dress if I felt like wearing a dress and not worry about where my pump was going to go. Before constantly having to have supplies with me, I almost never carried a purse. My fingertips were uncalloused, my stomach wasn’t covered in tiny infusion site scars, and my body felt like it belonged to me. Now there are so many aspects of my life that are driven not by my heart or my brain, but by my busted-ass pancreas.
There are days when I don’t wear my pump or my Dex, despite the fact that I know on a rational level that they help with my management, because I need a day where my body feels like a body and not like a cyborg. Please don’t judge me or scold me. Just let me have my body feel like my own for a day. There are times when I don’t want to test and dose before I eat, and I promise that I’ll get to it as soon as I finish this slice of pizza. Please don’t treat me like a child because I know what I need to do. It’s the same basic decision.